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Watch where you swipe

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A warning this holiday season about a device that can steal your credit card information in an instant. They are tiny devices that capture your credit card information in a matter of seconds.

Investigators have found skimmers on gas pumps and ATM machines and now postal inspectors are finding them being used to steal credit card information that's later used to purchase stamps. Daryl Greenberg is a U.S. Postal Inspector, he said, "They had charges, around $50 or so, from multiple post offices on their card. Each of these victims were still in possession of their credit cards.
Inspectors tracked the post offices where the charges were occuring.

According to Greenberg, "What they were sliding into the machine was not actually a credit card it was what ended up being a re-encoded card." Suspects would take blank gift cards and re-encode them with stolen credit card information. The question: How did the con artists get the information? The head of this scheme used skimmers and gave them to multiple people who worked in the food and retail industry. Those people stole the credit card info.

Greenberg said, "These people were sliding their cards unbeknownst to the victim while they were having lunch or buying shoes or whatever they were buying." The accomplices would give the information to the mastermind who would encode the numbers on credit cards and purchase stamps. "for 50 cents on the dollar, they would sell the stamps on a secondary market, Ebay or other sources to recover the money he could use to spend," Greenberg added.

More than 400 victims found a 50 dollar charge on their card with more than $20,000 in losses. "The bad guys learned if they use small charges; $50 - $47 - $30, then a lot of time people would not recognize the charge but think, I must have done it."

Postal inspectors arrested the mastermind and several accomplices. The ring leader was sentenced to 8 years in prison. Postal inspectors remind consumers to always protect their personal information and financial records.